Kick-Ass (2010)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
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Overall Rating 76%
Overall Rating
Ranked #237
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Connections: Kick-Ass

Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a superhero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so. --IMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: December 6, 2015
When Kick Ass was released, it's off-the-charts violence and childhood profanity certainly created its fair share of controversy. Normally, I love these movies but for whatever reason I never got around to sitting down with it. Better late than never I guess.

Dave Lizewski is an unremarkable kid in every sense of the word. He's not great at sports or academics, he's not cool enough to have hundreds of friends nor geeky enough to be bullied. He's just sort of there. Now, he just so happens to be a huge fan of comic books and after getting mugged one too many times, he decides he's going to become a real life superhero. After picking up a green and yellow wetsuit from Amazon, he hits the streets as Kick Ass. Unfortunately, day one on the job doesn't exactly go the way he hopes and he ends up hospitalized with a stab wound and a shattered skeleton. In some ways it's a blessing in disguise however, as the resulting skeletal braces and nerve damage has resulted in an increased durability and pain tolerance, and he's able to take enough of a beating to outlast his enemies while getting enough lucky shots in to win the fight. Soon, Kick Ass is THE internet sensation, and this nobody suddenly has legions of adoring fans. However, he's also earned the attention of Frank D'Amico, a mobster that's largely in control of the city, and Big Daddy and Hit Girl, a deadly father/daughter duo of crime fighters.

Kick Ass marries absurd levels of black humor and ultra-violence and for the most part, it works beautifully. The action itself is a strange blend of cartoonish ridiculousness with visceral bloodshed, and it does an amazing job setting the tone for the movie. For example, we've got a mob boss that I had no trouble buying as a ruthless threat, but the plan he decides to go with to bring the costumed teen down is...well, let's just say it's the last thing Tony Montana would have done. You see, just like the action, the comedy half also blends that comic book silliness with a more adult-aimed humor. I tell you, there's something magical about watching Hit Girl jump out of nowhere with the line "OK, you cunts. Let's see what you got" and killing a dozen gangstas, leaving a bloodthirsty carnage in her wake. However, this is also the movie's biggest problem. While the movie is certainly entertaining enough to stand on its own, there's still quite a bit of reliance on the novelty of this eleven-year-old girl committing such insane acts of violence and dropping such astoundingly bad language. Matthew Vaugn was fully aware of this, and he resisted every effort from studios to change Hit Girl to a nineteen year old. This was certainly the right decision, but you do lose the shock value on repeat viewings.

In the titular role, Aaron Johnson carried this movie perfectly. Even while he was out fighting as Kick Ass, you still got the vibe that he was just a nerdy kid that was just doing what he had to do after living out a fantasy and getting in a bit over his head. Again, the extreme violence and profanity contrasting with the comic book tone was this movie's bread and butter, and it really needed the character to be an inefficient crime-fighter. Besides, we've got Hit Girl for that. Chloe Grace Moretz knocked this role out of the park; I'd even go so far to say that she outshone Johnson. Between her performance in front of the camera and the maturity in her comments behind it, all at the ripe age of thirteen, I'm shocked she hasn't become more of an A-list name in the past five years. Hell, I still haven't ruled it out for her. Finally, I didn't even mind Nicholas Cage as Big Daddy. He was up to his usual hammy tricks, but I have to admit it fit the tone of movie and his screen time was low enough not to cause any collateral damage. Plus, he had a great chemistry with Moretz.

Kick Ass falls in that little gray area that while I probably wouldn't buy it unless I stumbled upon a two-pack in the five dollar bin, I would certainly stop if I happened by it while channel surfing. There's no denying that it coasts on a bit of novelty, but it's definitely worth giving a shot. 7/10.
George Snow #1: George Snow - added December 8, 2015 at 7:56pm
This is the movie where I said Moretz was going to be a huge star. She stole the show.
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